Sat 18 Mar 2023

Virves loves it when his ERC plan comes together

Robert Virves has revealed that winning stages on Rally Serras de Fafe, Felgueiras, Boticas, Vieira do Minho e Cabeceiras de Basto was always part of his pre-event plan.

Virves, with local co-driver Hugo Magalhães alongside, was fastest twice on last weekend’s FIA European Rally Championship season opener, his first start in the ERC at Rally2 level.

“That was actually my plan,” said the 22-year-old from Estonia of his stage-winning heroics. “The main goal was to get some information from gravel stages like this to have something there for [the world championship rallies in] Portugal and Sardinia and so on. Of course the competition is really, really strong in the ERC, it’s like WRC2 and of course I tried to show what I can do and for that I’m really, really happy.”

Virves is contesting selected ERC events alongside his WRC2 programme in a RedGrey-run Ford Fiesta Rally2, his prize for winning the FIA Junior WRC Championship in 2022.

He could have finished higher than 16th had it not been for a power loss on the opening day.

“The first day was a little bit different because we starting quite far behind the faster guys, the weather was not really on our side and we had some puncture. We had something with the turbo, we didn’t have the power, and a lot of stages were cancelled [because of the weather]. The conditions were not in my favour, but we still succeeded.”

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM